Recs – Ambient Noise

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I was privileged to attend Evening Prayer with my friend, Fran who was offering the evening’s reflection. She wrote about it here.

In listening to her talk about Gordon Hempton, the acoustic ecologist, it reminded me of one of my favorite “quiet” spaces: lunch rush at the Cracker Barrel. I know it doesn’t sound much like a quiet space, but the background noise of conversations you can’t really understand the words of, clattering of forks on plates, glasses sliding on wet tabletops, the occasional laugh; is noisy to keep unnecessary things out of my head and keep the concentration in. I actually get my best writing done at these times.

Right then, about the second paragraph of her reflection, I knew what my Thursday Rec would be: those noisy/quiet spaces that help us center ourselves, whether we’re trying to write or think or pray our way, these are some of the places that have been recommended. I had most of these resources, but this Tumblr compiled a list for their readers. (Descriptions for 1 through 10 were done by the Tumblr user, belt. I’ve also added a couple more:

  1. Rainymood – Allows you to play rain, with suggestions of ambient music to play at the same time.
  2. Calm – A visually beautiful website. Provides moving backgrounds and an option for guided calm which allows you to immerse yourself in the music and to relax.
  3. Showertime – The experience of taking a shower without the water. Allows you to control features such as length of shower, size of room, water pressure, etc.
  4. Coffitivity – The background noise of a coffee shop. Allows you to choose between different locations such as lunchtime lounge, morning murmur etc.
  5. Soundrown – A website with a sleek minimalist design, allows you to choose between rain, coffee shop, ocean, fire, bird noises, or a combination of the five.
  6. Relaxing Snow – Visually beautiful falling snow, the website gives you the opinion to play music with the scenery, or to choose your own.
  7. Raining.Fm – This website gives you the ability to adjust the rain to exactly how you’d like it, with options to tweak thunder, rain and storm noises.
  8. Rain For Me – Simple rain effects with the option to download the audio files for offline listening.
  9. Snowy Mood – Inspired by Rainy Mood, this website really makes you feel like it’s winter.
  10. Rainy Cafe – Combines the sounds of a bustling cafe setting with the sounds of drizzling rain. Allows you to select the volume of each setting, or turn one off completely.

Others I’ve found:

  1. SoundTracker
  2. http://www.simplynoise.com/
  3. http://www.naturesoundplayer.com/
  4. http://www.calmsound.com/
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-qnBxzUv4g (thunderstorms)
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJCpgVc-8n8 (waterfalls)
  7. http://mynoise.net/

Of these, I’ve used Coffitivity and the YouTube videos. I’ve also recorded my own sounds at Starbucks, Cracker Barrel and the Cohoes Falls.

Enjoy whatever level of quiet that you like.

Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only. I do not know how any of these will affect your computer, so please research or use you anti-virus to check them out before downloading any of them.

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